Thanks in large part to innovative preventives and ongoing education many childhood diseases once prevalent in the U.S. have been eradicated or at least brought under control. Unfortunately, tooth decay is not one of them. In fact, tooth decay has become the most widespread disease for children, even more rampant than asthma or childhood obesity. This is especially surprising since tooth decay is so preventable.
Preventive methods may depend on the level of risk. Some children are more susceptible to tooth decay because of a genetic factor or more often, due to the fact that they aren’t receiving the proper professional care or they aren’t practicing a regimen of oral care at home. This is often the case with families who have not been exposed to educational information or don’t have access to pediatric dental attention.
The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors suggests that we try to create a higher degree of communication between pediatricians and professionals in the pediatric dental community. Public forums and educational institutions are invaluable tools in the prevention of tooth decay.
The term “dental home” applies to the kinship that is formed between a child and his dentist, starting with the first visits. It includes everyone from parents to office staff members working together to make the child feel comfortable in his dental environment and excited about learning how to take care of his own teeth.
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and makes it better able to resist attacks from harmful acids. Today’s public and communal drinking water supplies are regularly treated with fluoride, but there are some rural areas that don’t have that advantage. It is really important for the children in those circumstances to be able to have fluoride treatments and be given other fluoride supplements that can only come from a professional source. A fluoride varnish for instance, when applied by a qualified dental professional has been proven to be greatly effective in the fight against cavities.
Refer to the patient information center page of the website epicdentistryforkids.com to see questions and answers about the many benefits of fluoride and reviews of other subjects of interest to parents.